Bombers Into Butterflies (9/17/01)

If you were worried that, in light of recent events, last Saturday's Apple store grand opening in Tampa might have been a flop, that's perfectly understandable. After all, who feels like celebrating at a time like this? But we're happy to report that the opening at International Plaza was a shining success-- at least, it was if faithful viewer Daniel Swanson's dozens of photos are any indication, and everyone knows that pictures never lie. (Pictures plus Photoshop are another story altogether, but we're going to take a wild leap of faith and assume that Daniel has better things to do than painstakingly editing extra people into photos of a store's grand opening.)

According to Daniel's account over at MacCentral, the crowds were healthy, in spite of last week's tragedy and the storm that pelted Florida on Friday. He arrived at 5:30 AM, only to find five people already in line ahead of him. By the time the doors opened, Daniel estimates that there were a good 300-400 eager Mac fans waiting to get in and sample Apple nirvana. In a fitting departure from tradition, Apple's eighth store opened not to the bouncy rhythm of "Love Shack," but instead to the perhaps more timely and appropriate "Woodstock" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. After all, what's an Apple store opening if not a festival of peace, love, and Macs?

So the retail machine just keeps on chugging along; the Tampa location is Apple's eighth, and as faithful viewer Simone Manganelli points out, the Saddle Creek one (in Germantown, Tennessee, home of signage laws only a mother could love-- a draconian neat-freak mother, that is) is slated to be Number Nine, if Apple's main retail page is any indication. Oddly enough, however, there's no link to a separate page for the Saddle Creek store, and no mention of an opening date... unless you happen to catch Apple's Hot News page when it's showing this particular graphic, which states that the Saddle Creek store will go live on "Saturday, September 29th."

In case you failed to notice, that's two weeks after this past Saturday's Tampa opening, marking the end of Apple's month and a half-long one-grand-opening-a-week streak. Worse yet, it's looking less likely than ever that Apple will meet its stated goal of opening twenty-five stores by the end of the year, but heck, if that's all you've got to stew about, consider yourself a tremendously lucky individual. And this way we've got more reason to look forward to 2002.

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The above scene was taken from the 9/17/01 episode:

September 17, 2001: Apple cancels next week's Apple Expo amid "safety concerns." Meanwhile, the company donates a cool million and a slew of iBooks to the families of emergency personnel who perished in last week's rescue efforts, and last Saturday's Tampa Apple store grand opening was a success-- next stop, Germantown, Tennessee...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3303: Open To Interpretation (9/17/01)   Oooo, we can hear the flame-laden arguments already. Sigh. Okay, folks, here's the Controversy of the Day: according to an official press release pointed out by faithful viewer Thu, due to the devastation of last Tuesday, Apple has cancelled the Apple Expo that was slated to happen in Paris next week...

  • 3304: Quiet Gifts Mean The Most (9/17/01)   "Our thoughts are with those who were affected by the recent tragic events." That's the message that's been posted to Apple's home page since last Thursday-- and indeed, it's not just a message, but the message; it's not stuck in a remote corner of the page, lost among flashy photos of new products or links to reviews...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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